Carbon Neutral Beef Supply Chain - Research into carbon reduction options for meat processing

Page last updated: Tuesday, 21 March 2023 - 12:19pm

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) collaborated with one of Western Australia’s (WA) largest beef producers, Harvest Road Group, and Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) on an 18-month research project to determine the most productive ways of producing beef with the least carbon emissions.

This research project supports the State Government’s commitment to a prosperous and resilient low-carbon future for WA.

The project brought together agricultural researchers and industry experts to identify strategies for reducing emission intensity throughout the WA beef supply chain. The first phase of the research focussed on mapping emissions from the whole supply chain.  The second phase of the project will focuss on supporting beef producers  to achieve carbon neutrality.

Research findings provide a valuable insight into carbon emissions from WA’s beef production system from which we can benchmark the industry's emissions leading to carbon neutrality – satisfying customer expectations and market requirements to remain internationally competitive.

Read the full report here or download (see sidebar for links).

Key project deliverables

The project has determined the Harvest Road Group's beef supply chain carbon footprint including:

  • develop carbon neutral products and encourage third party carbon neutral cattle supply in the Harvest Road Group operations
  • identify demand driven carbon neutral product development post comprehensive market research and stakeholder interviews

Benefits for WA’s beef industry

The project will deliver some key information about the beef production system in WA. This will lead to better understanding of where the industry can focus to reduce GHG emissions in beef production.

WA's beef industry will benefit from:

  • understanding the GHG emissions from meat processing in WA
  • quantifying differences between differing turn-off and finishing systems for the WA beef industry
  • understanding consumer perceptions on the value of carbon neutral or low carbon beef.

Next steps

Further research will explore:

  • Feedlot and grazing systems
  • Further research to identify producers’ emissions and sequestration options at the farm gate and work to incorporate these into the HRG supply chain
  • Marketing and product development for carbon neutral beef.

As part of the Western Australian Climate Policy, DPIRD will develop and demonstrate carbon neutral farming techniques and will help WA producers access anticipated future markets for carbon neutral food and fibre products.

Extension to WA’s beef industry

The WA beef industry will be kept informed of research findings through a number of extension activities and by offering workshops to beef producers.

Find out more information on DPIRD’s focus on carbon in livestock.

Contact information

Mandy Curnow
+61 (0)8 9892 8422
Nicki Hall
+61 (0)8 9368 3472